Student group petition Tinubu regarding VCs’ alleged misappropriation of TETFUND projects

Some vice chancellors and rectors of government-owned tertiary institutions have been accused by a student group called the Concerned Public Tertiary schools’ Students Association (CoPTISA) of TETFUND projects misappropriation.

In a letter to President Bola Tinubu, CoPTISA stated that the only chance Nigeria has to save its government-owned schools from “a syndicate of looters in its ivory towers” is to move quickly to address the core of the misconduct in the higher education subsector.

The group’s national president said in the letter dated 18th of January, 2024, stated that “The education sub-sector is on its knees because of how these VCs brazenly engage in sex for marks, project fund diversion, project abandonment, financial malfeasance, breach of procurement procedures as well as admission and other forms of racketeering.

“Monies released to our schools by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) are being stolen with projects improperly executed in connivance with contractors who have turned out to be friends, family and associates of the Vice Chancellors and members of their management team.

“We are speaking out now that we have learnt that these school managements do not want anyone to get to the root of how they are wrecking our institutions.

“Nigerians should ask where these VCs and Rectors get the funds they use to build world-class mansions and to send their children and wards to schools abroad at a time when everyone knows what foreign exchange means for a weakened naira. We have not even touched on the matter of these children of the Vice Chancellors and professors not consuming what their parents produce because none of them attend Nigerian schools.

“It is the reason these people as school management are comfortable with subjecting us to different forms of abuse because there are ethical issues they are not addressing be it in the way they relate with their students or in how they treat the funds meant to make our schools better.”

He said CoPTISA is appealing to the Senate and House of Representatives to open investigations into areas that some Vice Chancellors and Rectors have been found wanting since the National Assembly can save the situation as envisaged in Sections 88 and 89 of the Constitution, which gave the legislature oversight powers.

According to him, the government can turn things around for tertiary institutions in Nigeria as any funds recovered as a result of its current oversight would go a long way in providing the infrastructure and scholarship support for which they are meant.

“Recovering looted TETFUND intervention monies would allow many schools to execute actual projects as opposed to the phantom structures that a lot of school management claimed they built,” he said.

The group noted that many benefitting institutions from TETFund interventions carried out shoddy jobs, executed substandard projects or did not implement them at all, while in some cases the consulting or contracting firms were owned by the implementing Vice-Chancellor or their family members and associates.

They also cited instances of Vice Chancellors constantly nominating their cronies and family members for capacity-building training and foreign trips to the detriment of the relevant staff and scholars in their institutions, who should have attended such programmes by their mandates.

Meanwhile, CoPTISA has stressed the need for the tertiary education sub-sector to show evidence of how it utilized the trillions of Nigeria committed to schools over the past years as all public expenditures must be accounted for in the spirit of accountability.